Sunday, October 31, 2010

Almost a Conversation

By Mary Oliver

I have not really, not yet, talked with otter

about his life.

He has so many teeth, he has trouble

with vowels.

Wherefore our understanding

is all body expression—

he swims like the sleekest fish,

he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles.

Little by little he trusts my eyes

and my curious body sitting on the shore.

Sometimes he comes close.

I admire his whiskers

and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

He has no words, still what he tells about his life

is clear.

He does not own a computer.

He imagines the river will last forever.

He does not envy the dry house I live in.

He does not wonder who or what it is that I worship.

He wonders, morning after morning, that the river

is so cold and fresh and alive, and still

I don't jump in.

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